First Lawyer Enters Senate Race
Atlanta IP lawyer Art Gardner joins crowded GOP field as a fiscal conservative and social moderate
Atlanta intellectual property lawyer Art Gardner is the first attorney to enter the crowded Republican primary field vying to succeed Sen. Saxby Chamblis, who is retiring.
Gardner, a newcomer to politics, said at a press conference Wednesday morning in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta in Midtown that his concern about deficit spending prompted him to enter the Senate race.
"The Federal Reserve is paying $85 million a month into the bond market to prop up deficit spending. The United States is spending $1 trillion more per year than it's taking in," Gardner said, speaking to about 30 people who turned out for his announcement.
"This is a serious problem and it's going to wreck the country if we don't fix it. It is so serious that it's spurred me into action," he told his supporters, who included lawyers and staff from his IP boutique, Gardner Groff.
Gardner is the eighth Republican to enter the race for Chambliss' seat. The only Democratic candidate so far is Michelle Nunn, daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn.
Gardner espouses socially moderate values and bi-partisan compromise, calling himself "fiscally conservative and socially tolerant" in the tradition of an earlier era of Republicans.
He supports reducing government spending but said Republicans should "not pursue policies that drive people away," such as attempting to outlaw gay marriage.
"There is nothing wrong with two gay people getting married. They have rights too," he said.
Garner said he is a "big tent" Republican.
"I'm running because the existing political class is not interested in fixing the budget. They do not seem interested in compromise or bipartisan solutions. Instead, they seem more interested in playing to their base," Gardner said.